Skip to main content
12:00 pm
>> welcome to al jazeera. u.n. weapons inspectors are on the ground and under fire in syria. they're there to investigate claims of chemical weapons attacks. wildfires are burning out of control in northern california. >> even though my daughter is in third grade i still walk her to school. >> violence and school closures for parents and sadly their children. >> snipers attack a team of u.n. inspectors on route to
12:01 pm
investigate a weapons attack in syria. they were shot by unidentified gunmen. no one was hurt. the team is now able to continue to the site in another vehicle. the u.n. says they visited two hospital and interviewed witnesses, survivors and doctors as well as collecting some samples. they're down now for the day. they have returned to their hospital. al jazeera's david jackson has been watching the events in syria from beirut, and david what is next for these inspectors? >> reporter: well, as you mentioned, dell, their day was cut short by the fact that the sniper attack happened at all. they had to turn around and go back again. they lost a little bit of precious time during the course of the afternoon. it is true that they're back now at their hotel. they have gone to two different locations on the ground, two different hospital locations. this is on the west side of the damascus. there is a larger problem, if you want to call it that to the
12:02 pm
east side, the death tolls are to the east, and that's where they'll be going tomorrow. 50 people were killed in the area where they spent their time today. they did take blood samples. they took them from some of their survivors and deceased. they did take soil samples, and they will try to determine to come up with missile parts to identify the system used in the delivery system of this. the u.n. inspectors are not there to try to affix blame. they're there to determine if there was a chemical attack at all. they're done for today and they'll go back out tomorrow morning. >> some are saying that it's too little, too late, is it too late for the inspectors? >> it may be, but there has been a revision to an extent. these inspectors were there inspecting an area sent to inspect an area that was hit by
12:03 pm
they believe chemical weapons in march and april. this is much more recent than that last wednesday, so there is some thinking now if they can get in and out of the next two to three days and take all the blood samples that they can, soil samples that they can, they could very quickly identify what these chemical weapons were, and exactly perhaps who initiated this attack. so it will be interesting to watch. they're watching closely from here in beirut. i want to mention quickly, here is the cover of today's numbs, drums of war. they're very nervous about this right here. we're 65 miles west of damascus. so everybody here in beirut watching this issue very closely very nervous. thank you, dell. >> david, before you go, briefly do we have any idea who was shooting at the u.n. weapons inspection team at this hour? >> both sides have blamed the
12:04 pm
other side, dell. the government in syria has said it's not them. and the rebels that they are fighting against in this particular neighborhood, both are evidence in that area said it was not them. they all have reason to point a finger at the other side. so nobody knows for sure. all they know is that it was a sniper who did not try to hit yesterday people. they simply tried to put a vehicle out of commission, which they succeeded in doing. >> that could be the understatement, both sides blaming each other. the obama administration as david mentioned says it has very little doubt that chemical weapons are being used in sir, and that could push the u.s. and its allies to military action. general wesley clark led nato forces in serbia, he talked about potential intervention in syria. >> i think the most important thing is to make sure that whatever you do militarily had a
12:05 pm
some political purpose to it, and moves this towards a resolution of the situation. so there is no point in just firing a weapon, dropping a bomb to drop a bomb. you have to start by building a coalition of the willing around the region. i think there should be strong resolutions. if the u.n. security council cannot act because of blocking by russia and china, teen these regional organizations must prevent the escalation of the conflict. >> in washington a military jury has decided the process to decide the future of major nadal hassan. they'll have to decide between life behind bars or death by
12:06 pm
lethal injection. >> reporter: well, dell, the expectation now is there there will be military action and that is a dramatic change in 48 hours. let's take you back to friday night as those pictures of death and suffering continue to stream in from that suburb around damascus, and from what the white house said there was little doubt there was a chemical weapon, and that was bashir al-assad. they said that sunday, but then they sent out a message that needed to allow an site access to the inspectors immediately. some are saying the they have degraded and corrupted the evidence to such a degree that it wouldn't do any good.
12:07 pm
chuck hagel saying the president has asked us to prepare military options. we have prepared those options we are ready. we have republican and democrat, house and senate calling for quote/unquote surgical strikes, speculating about a cruise missile launch and should congress be identified and consulted or shouldn't it. what is required? congress is out on extended vacation for another week. we have all these developments moving and raising expectation at this point. consultations with president obama with david camera in the u.k. and france talking about the need to actres act resoluter all it was president obama who laid down the red line and cle clearly assad has crossed it.
12:08 pm
>> that was not heidi zhou castro. that was mike viqueira talking about the drums of war are start to go beat louder. here is heidi zhou castro. >> is a than was as emotionless as he was bein before being cond as a mass murderer. he sits in had wheel cheer with a beard that is against army regulations. just to give you an idea how unaffected he appears this morning. he got into a brief discussion with the the prosecution how to calculate the date of his start with military. the fact that he was so uneffected about it, it was like an every day conversation that stood out. of course we all know that this is not just any other day. this is when this jury will begin hearing evidence that will determine whether hassan lives
12:09 pm
or dies. the judge ope opened t this morning by again asking hassan to reconsider representing himself telling him point blank that his life could defendepend on this decision. hassan very matter of factually said he understood and he wanted to continue to be his own attorney. he said if he was put to death he would be a martyr, and it might not be so unexpected after all. >> roads and campgrounds in yosemite national park are being shut down as the rim wildfire is raging out of control. the wind-driven flames have forced many to evacuate. firefighters are now on the scene trying to save 4500 homes and businesses. winds have pushed the fire dangerously close to roads and
12:10 pm
highways surrounding yosemite national park. that fire now just 7% contained. [♪ music ] >> meteorologist: that's right, dell. the rim fire is only 7% contained. we have clouds being drown from the southwest. portions of california looking to deal with that ground to cloud lightening and portions going to idaho and will see increased fire threat as we track into the next 24 hours. with more moisture being drawn out of the southwest. we do have good news south of oe west coast, salt lake city to phoenix will see meaningful rainfall, but flash flooding will be a major concern as we track over the next 24 to 48 hours. we go to i-10 east of san diego as we travel further into the
12:11 pm
north. it's hot and very humid also across the north central plains. minneapolis down into chicago, chicago reaching a high of 92 degrees. we have a heatwave going on across the north central plains, and we have also heat advisory in affect right across minneapolis. anyone out and about today be careful. we're going to have strenuous heat to deal with throughout the week. >> i will stay inside. millions of kids are going back to school scenarios the country, but in chicago it's reading, writing and risk. and immigrants in somalia making a new home in america down on the farm.
12:12 pm
12:13 pm
and you can kiss that puppy goodbye, chula vista would answer back. they would come up clutch. jianca rlo, and california is back on top, 4-3. but buckle up, this game was a rollercoaster ride. the bottom of the fifth, they would probably be very good at that also. that is it for al-jazeera america.
12:14 pm
>> welcome back to al jazeera. i'm dell walters. chicago's public schools are under the microscope as more than 400,000 children are back in class. many of these children attending new schools under less than desirable circumstances. faced with unfamiliar neighborhood and forced to walk longer distances to get through, and then through violenc violend gang-ridden areas. it does sound like reading, writing and risk, are the kids safe? >> reporter: that's right. that's something on the minds of teachers, students and parents today. they have 300 safe passage designated routes over the school year for students to get their kids to newly designated schools. police will be along those routes in the morning and afternoons when the children are
12:15 pm
traveling. at least we saw some people who were posted out here in their fluorescent yellow vests. we saw police patrolling on foot and in car, still there are parents walking their children to school, and concerned that it may not be safe enough. eight-year-old crystal hall expects to meet a lot of new classmates as a third grader. >> i'm going to have to make friends all over again. >> reporter: for mom it's a bit more harrowing. >> it is very dangerous around here. that's why even though my daughter is in third grade i still walk her to school. >> reporter: last may in the face of a $1 billion shortfall the chicago school board voted to close down 49 poorly performed and under utilized schools. all about a handful of them are in the economically depressed and high crime south and west sides. kids will meet for the first time. >> kids are coming from
12:16 pm
everywhere. from rival gangs, cousins don't get long, big brothers don't get long and cousins don't get along. when they see each other it's not about the law. >> reporter: there is so much concern that the city has torn down dozens of empty houses and boarded up dozens more along safe passage routes. >> you're going to see needles, used condoms and mattresses, discarded alcohol bottles, you'll see where they've been tagged by different gangs. >> reporter: betsy ross elementary showed signs of improvement, but the enrollment dipped to under capacity forcing the district to shut it down. reverend smith lives across the street from the school. >> they're making a good school, a safe school, now a warehouse. >> reporter: no longer a place for students the building is now a storage pace for beat up
12:17 pm
district furniture. at receiving schools where displacedded students have been reassigned new furniture has been moved in over the summer. they've been outfitted with eye-fi and air conditioners in every classroom. school district officials refused to talk on camera, waiting until after school begins. >> i done think a sign will stop a bully. i don't think a sign will stop a fight. do you think you're going to be safe? >> yes. >> yes, because i'll be here to protect you. >> reporter: grown up worries for a little girl headed to third grade. >> reporter: dell, the school districts has budgeted $7.7 million to pay for 600 workers who are posted here in the morning. they're here two and a half hours before, during and after
12:18 pm
kids are in class and then they're posted from 1:30 to 4:00 to make sure that they get out of here okay. >> i have to tell you on this one i'm baffled. we're talking about a school system where the president of the united states calls chicago home. the mayor of chicago is former chief of staffish and yet it's still astab a troubled school s. how are they reacting to the fact that they're just able to get kids to school safely. >> in parts of the city this is an every day thing. on the west and south sides they've been dealing with this for years. safe passage has shown some success. around the safe panels krauts crime has stopped 20%. inside the schools, that's dropped a third of what it usually was for conflicts that happened in the school. it is working and it is helping to deal with this. the district said 78% of the families whose students are actually designated to go to these new schools are still
12:19 pm
going to these schools but there are parents who holding their kids back. they're not satisfied with what is going on. they're not comfortable with the safety of the new schools. >> it sound like some parents are giving up. is that a safe assessment from what we hear? >> reporter: there have been lawsuits and things that parents have been doing, protests, but at this point this is not much they can do other than taking their kids out of district. some have left the district, they have left the state. others have said this is what we have to deal with, and they take them to school. and then there are those who are not comfortable enough to accepted their kids to school. the vast majority are just sending their kids to school. >> thank you very much. it was hit by an earthquake and tsunami two years ago. japan still trying to figure out how to clean up that damaged nuclear power plant that is now leaking radioactive water. and a train derailment in
12:20 pm
mexico. the details on that still ahead.
12:21 pm
>> u.n. weapons investigators
12:22 pm
are combing through the site of chemical attacks. >> nadal hassan is back in texas. the sentencing phase of his trial begins today. out of control wildfires are spreading across california. they've already burned 225,000 square miles. that plays is edging close to a reservoir where san francisco gets it's drinking water. at least six people are dead in a derailed freight train in mexico. 250 migrants were on board hitching a ride to the u.s. border. >> reporter: this train has long been the only way illegal migrants could hope to start a new life. nicknamed the beast the cargo train is meant to transport goods. but many migrants have gone on
12:23 pm
board using it to claim a new life in the united states. for some those dreams now have been lost. >> the train was going very fast, and when it started to break it went off the rails, and people began to jump. >> reporter: the beast was traveling through the southern state when it came off the rails. it's a remote part of mexico, and ambulances couldn't get through by rode. people scrambled to reach those trapped in the wreckage until rescue teams arrived by helicopter. >> we found bodies on the sides. we think that we will find eight, maybe ten more bodies under the train charges. [ train horn ] >> reporter: this rail route is already a dangerous journal. at times seller hundreds migrants cram into freight cars and also sit on top, but it's an
12:24 pm
area run by the drug cartel. migrants are can ki kidnapped ad forced to smuggle drugs into the united states. it's unlikely if this accident will deter everyone from hitching a ride once the train gets back on track. >> japan's government is now promising to take urgent action of leaks of radioactive contaminated water. they ordered the operator to improve monitoring sites. the tepco acknowledged that hundreds of tons of highly radioactive water had leaked. this from a tank inside that plant. a push to reignite peace talks between the afghan government and the taliban, urging pakistan to start the peace negotiations there hamid karzai was in islamabad on monday meeting with the prime minister of the country.
12:25 pm
pakistan is seen as a vital part of the peace negotiations because of its strong historical ties with the taliban. >> a major deal in the drug industry to tell but. the world's larger bio tech company, amgen is buying ox pharmaceuticalled, th the priceg $10.4 billion. it would give amgen three new cancer treatments and several others in trials. the first woman to be a member of the stock exchange has died. she passed away saturday after battling cancer. she began her financial career as a 22-year-old trainees earning just $65 a week. she went on to buy a seat on the new york stock exchange and became new york's first female superintendent of banking. she donated millions of dollars
12:26 pm
to help other women start in business and finances. huge numbers of people from somalia are fleeing their country. we have the story of a refugee and a single mother who is working at a farm for feed her family. >> reporter: petula is a 43-year-old somalia refugee and single mother of nine. she has settled in maine after escaping a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people. her father was severely beaten. she managed to escape with her children. >> when the war started our life was very difficult. we were running side by side. running from this forest to that forest, from this village to that village. >> reporter: it took ten years but she came to america finally making a home in lewis son, a
12:27 pm
farming community much like the one she left. >> here it's a small city. there is not a lot of jobs available for us, but my job is to farm, and this is my most important job. >> reporter: she works land provided by the new sustainable agriculture project and connects her with local farmers markets. >> you can tell this is where they feel most at home, and they feel most reconnected with the police that they lost. >> reporter: but some people in lewis ton worry that the new immigrants are a burden on the community. >> americans first. carries too much about other people. >> reporter: but she works hard harvesting crops from sun up to sundown and then goes home to feed the her nine children. they all live in this apartment, crowded but happy. >> who is the jokester of the family? >> him. >> yeah? >> reporter: dinner is at 10:00 p.m. and then it's up at
12:28 pm
6:00 to take the harvest to the market. once petula has harvested her crops this is where she brings the fruits of her labor. from the village in somalia, she is now part of maine's local economy. >> thank you. >> you can see that they work really hard. they've really been an asset to this market to have more of the really gorgeous produce here. >> reporter: small farmers like petula can earn up to $20,000 a year. it's a better life for her and her children. but she does have one fear. >> we are old, and we know what our culture is, but i worry that the kids may take another culture. but life here is great. this is her new home. she's happy here, but she never wants to forget her roots. >> take a brief look at wall street, your 401k is smiling even as we speak.
12:29 pm
the dow up 27 points this after losing ground last week. there were concerns an about the fed that led to losses but it appears today the dow has opened higher and hopefully on behalf of your 401k it will stay that way. crowds will begin to gather in nevada for burning man. the annual counter art culture that convenes each year in the black rock desert. it's an ongoing social experiment. 8,000 people are expected to participate this year. this year's art installation also include a life-size flying saucer and a laser show based on appearance of the human genome. the festival runs through september 2nd as you can see from the video it is interesting to say the very least. >> thanks for watching al jazeera. i'm dell walters. join us again at the top of the hour. techno is next.
12:30 pm
would probably be very good at that also. that is it for al-jazeera america.
disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 8/26/2013